The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Matthew Taylor to step down as RSA chief executive

Press release

Matthew Taylor today announced to RSA staff and Fellows that he will shortly step down as chief executive of the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce (RSA), after 15 years at the helm.

Matthew started at the RSA in 2006 and will formally finish in June 2021 to focus on other projects, including his writing and broadcasting career. He will retain his connection with the RSA through a new advisory role after this time.

During his 15 years as chief executive, Matthew has seen the RSA become a more global institution, with 30,000 fellows; platforms with international reach, including 700,000 YouTube subscribers; and a high-profile and influential research programme. This year saw the RSA launch its new brand identity - focused on ‘committing to impact’ - and shift to more focused programmatic working, as part of its new corporate strategy,

The RSA will begin the process of appointing a new chief executive in the new year.

Matthew Taylor, outgoing chief executive, said:

“Being chief executive of the RSA has been an incredible privilege. Back in 2006, I never thought I would do the job for over fifteen years — but as the RSA has grown and developed, my role has been constantly challenging, exciting and rewarding. I am incredibly grateful to the colleagues and Fellows who have put up with and supported me over the years. 

“I am certain the RSA can go on to even better things, and I look forward to seeing its next stage of development.”

Tim Eyles, RSA Chair, added:

“We are all incredibly grateful to Matthew for his fifteen years of extraordinary service to the RSA. He leaves the RSA having transformed the organisation and with the highest profile and influence since its founding in 1754. I have personally thoroughly enjoyed working with Matthew and pay tribute to his many achievements for the RSA’s benefit.

“Matthew leaves huge shoes to fill, but his departure also comes at an exciting time in the RSA’s history, with our recently relaunched brand and shift away from projects to more focused, longer-term programmatic working which aims to increase our impact in the world.

“Next year we look forward to finding a new leader who can take forward the plans trustees, staff and fellows agreed on as part of our recent Strategic Review – to harness all our assets together as one RSA including even closer engagement with our Fellows, being more global, increasing our visibility and impact, and deepening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Related articles

  • The promise of digital twin ecosystems


    Eduardo Plastino FRSA

    Eduardo Plastino FRSA argues that digital twin ecosystems can be a highly consequential general-purpose technology that helps us address major challenges of our times, including climate change and long-term economic stagnation.

  • The pandemic through the stories of key workers

    Long form

    Jake Jooshandeh

    During the pandemic, many key workers have experienced impacts on their economic security, mental and physical health, working and home lives. These are just some of their stories.

  • Improving the economic security of key workers is good for us all


    Jake Jooshandeh

    Tackling economic security is the right political agenda. It’s good for key workers, it’s good for employers, and it’s good for the economy.